Local, state and federal agencies practice for large scale rescue at Marblehead
(Marblehead) - More than two dozen local, state and federal agencies participated in Icy Resolve 2013, a mass rescue full-scale exercise at Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, Saturday.
Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, the state of Ohio, the Ohio National Guard, Ottawa County, Danbury Township, the cities of Lakeside, Marblehead and Sandusky, were involved.
The scenario of the exercise involved the simulated crash landing of a commuter plane with 50 passengers aboard on ice-covered Lake Erie. The exercise is designed to test coordinated federal/state/local emergency response.
The exercise employed numerous airboats, helicopters and shore-based rescue crews. Crews aboard similar rescue assets responded during a real mass-rescue operation, as emergency responders rescued 134 people trapped on an ice floe adrift in Lake Erie in early February 2009.
The exercise provides the participating federal, state, local and volunteer agencies the opportunity to evaluate their response plans, capabilities and coordination to a mass-rescue operation in a cold-weather maritime environment. It also tests the agencies’ ability to execute critical incident communications, emergency medical care and triage, and many other elements of mass rescue procedures.
“It is imperative that we continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to strengthen our response capabilities,” said Capt. Andrew Sugimoto, chief of the 9th Coast Guard District Incident Management Branch and the exercise director. “That’s the only way we can synchronize our policies, procedures and tactics to deliver the level of service our Great Lakes citizens and visitors deserve.”
“Exercises like this are critical to effective emergency preparedness,” said Fred Petersen, director of the Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency. “It gives us the opportunity to test our response plans and ensure that our integrated planning and training efforts would result in an effective and efficient response to a real event like this.”
Following the exercise, the participants supply feedback and lessons learned, which will be incorporated with the observations of exercise evaluators to identify areas for improvement.
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